Writing Update: Dealing with Praise and Nervousness

I’ve written two other blog posts over the past couple of weeks and deleted both of them. One came across as too depressing, and the other just didn’t work. Maybe I can get this one actually on the web.

Currently, I’m deep into editing my novel. After making a lengthy list of revision notes, I did one pass to correct/change all of those. Then I searched out all passive voice and killed it (well, most of it). I also did work on limiting adverbs and other boring stuff that you probably don’t care about.

After doing enough work to proclaim that I was on the second draft, I printed the entire thing out. I’ve been going through it, sentence-by-sentence, and making more edits. Looking at it on paper provides a different perspective than my computer screen. At the same time, I’ve made another list of revision notes to go through. 

Meanwhile, I got a lot of feedback from a beta reader. And I mean a LOT. Two hours and thirteen minutes worth. And 99% of it was good.

Now, if someone is willing to rave about your book for two hours and thirteen minutes, then maybe, just maybe you have something there. He told me I had to write the next book, even if I don’t get published, because he needs to know what happens next.

Yet I can’t help but feel wary of too much praise. I’ve been there before, only to see failure. I’m cautious that way. After all, I have another reader who has had the book longer and has only gotten through about 50 pages. Sure, it could be that he’s a slower reader. Or maybe it only appeals to a certain type of person, like the raving reader.

At any rate, I have a plan now, mostly. I need to finish my edit of the printed version, and make all the corrections I find there. Then I need to finish the new revisions list. By then, maybe the final beta reader will have more feedback for me.

Meanwhile, I need to start working on a query letter. This one’s hard, as the plot is harder to communicate, more involved than my previous book. 

If that weren’t enough, I’ve also outlined and plotted a short story set within the world of this book. Perhaps I’ll finish that at the same time, and use it for additional promotion.

I have a lot of work to do.


Funniest moment from the beta reader conversation: he’s comparing characters and talking about where they might end up, speculating… and I couldn’t help but say: “Are you… shipping my characters?”

(He was.)

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